Oct 3 1876
Otis, James, and Calvin found Dr Bailey on the floor in a pool of blood. They noted a bloody average sized men’s bootprint, a half burned cigar, and that Dr Bailey’s saddlebags were missing which included their pay. Calvin noted that the murderer used what was probably a bowie knife and was left handed.
Everette came to the door and said
“My Bailey, Oh no. I knew this would happen.” he sobbed.
“We have to find his killer, but quietly. We don’t know if this was personal or part of a broader plot. We must proceed with an investigation surreptitiously. I am officially deputizing you for this investigation only. Just notify me before you go off half cocked.” said Devry.
They told Moira and Sally.
“Did you find the money?” asked Moira.
“No.” said Calvin.
“What the hell are you doing with the mummy?” asked Otis taking out a hatchet. Otis hacked the mummy into bits. Everyone left the room. Otis tore up pieces of Sally’s pantaloons and made little cloth mummy bundles. He went to the engine car with one.
“Can I throw this in the fire?” he asked.
“What is it? Why?”
“Does it matter?” asked Otis.
“There was just a murder on the train.” said the engineer.
“Fair enough.” said Otis.
Sally went to Everette and said “I’m sorry for your loss.”
Everette wiped away his tears.
Sally looked out the window and noticed bootprints from the window. She got Otis and Red to follow the trail to a door. Everette opened the room. They found little but a change of clothes and saddlebags marked EB. The manifest said the room was rented to John Smith. They went through the saddlebags seeing money, alchemical recipes, and invitations to the symposium. Moria and Calvin hid in waiting for the killer.
Calvin and Moira went to the lounge car and looked at people’s boots. Rupert sat at the bar smoking a cigar and drinking a beer. They noticed that Henrietta Dial was left handed. He asked her if she had been to the Symposium before. She said that she had but this year she was going to win.
“You haven’t won before?” asked Calvin.
“These snakes are too cutthroat. Always sabotaging each other and backstabbing.” said Henrietta.
They heard the sound of gunfire from the roof of the train. Someone informed them that their was a test of skill shooting on the roof. James went up and shot buffalo from the train roof. James bet he could shoot the most and won $10 dollars.
The Southern gambler from earlier drew on James and shot at James but missed. James Fired back but the bullet passed through his coat.
James fired again wounding the man. He fell to the roof ad called out
“Texas ranger. This man is wanted in Georgia.” holding up a badge.
“I don’t believe you have any jurisdiction here.” said james.
Everette came and handcuffed the man. A doctor saw to his wounds.
They took him to the caboose and handcuffed him to Jubal Early.
“Why did you shoot me?” asked James.
Calvin rifled through his pockets finding a wanted poster, a set of playing cards with more face cards than it should have, and $20 in ones.
“You’re wanted in Georgia for murder. The truth of it is my real name is Bret Marshal. You killed my brother.” he said.
“Did you kill his brother?” asked Calvin.
“Yep.” said James.
“Did you have a good reason?” asked Calvin.
“Yep.” said James.
“That’s good enough for me. I think I killed one of them bandits. Maybe more.” said Calvin.
The train stopped in Salina Kansas to refuel. Otis got off the train and looked for anyone getting off there. No one did.
Calvin went to the room the engineers slept in with Sally. It had a couple of people napping. He said that he had to grab something for Everette. He went through his things finding a cameo of Dr Bailey.
“Did you hear Dr Bailey died?” Calvin asked Ryan, and engineer.
“Yeah, they were real close.” said Ryan.
“Did they ever fight?” asked Calvin.
“They were like a married couple.” said Ryan.
“What did they fight about?” asked Sally.
“I don’t know they didn’t fight on the train.” said Ryan.
They moved on and everyone slept.
That morning outside of Salina, the Express left behind the vast farmland of eastern Kansas and entered the open prairie. Suddenly shouts and carrying-on could be heard from one of the passenger cars. Otis went and check on Brett and found he was gone along with Jubal.
The forward passenger car was in an uproar by the time the posse got there. Scientists hurried every which way with big grins on their faces. Overheard bits of conversation revolved around “accuracy” and “killing power.” With various weapons mundane and weird clutched in eager hands, the inventors exited at the end of the car and climbed onto the roof.
The rolling grassland to the north was filled to bursting with buffalo, some of them only a few feet from the passing train. The herd easily numbered several hundred, all of them placidly ruminating as the Express rumbled past. The gathered inventors were busy placing bets on various weapons and shooters—who is most accurate, who can drop the most buffalo with a single shot, and so on.
A man in a tartan kilt wearing a metal pack with some sort of rifle attachment with multiple barrels gestured.
“You don’t need to fret about accuracy when the Conor Meatgrinder is at your side!” shouted Conor McGregor raising his weapon. As he flicked a switch on the stock with his thumb, the apparatus on his back emited a black and white smoke exhaust.
“Stand back, Laddies and Lasses!”
The gun cracked and belched smoke. Instantly a dozen buffalo within 20 yards toppled over dead, pierced by a hail of bullets. The other inventors nodded to each other, applauding as Hellstromme’s rep made a notation.
“Can I see that notebook?” asked Sally.
“No.” he said.
“We’re investigating a murder.” said Sally.
“What agency do you work for?” asked the rep.
“I’m a Sheriff.” said Sally.
“Of Which county?” asked the rep.
“Does it matter just gimme the damn book.” said Sally.
“No.” said the Man backing away.
Sally swung her pistol at him but missed.
“Stop.” he said.
Sally snatched at the notebook and missed.
“Unhand me woman.” said the rep.
“Help! Help this woman is mad.” said The rep.
An engineer came up the ladder.
“What seems to be the problem?” asked the engineer.
“This woman attacked me.” said the rep.
“He’s impeding my murder investigation.” said Sally.
“Why don’t you come with me?” asked the engineer.
Everette came up the ladder.
“What is the matter?” asked Everette.
“He won’t let me look in his notebook.” said Sally.
“The relationship with the Union Blue railway and Hellstromme is tenuous. We must tread carefully. I will talk to him and ask if he saw anything.” said Everette.
“I’’m sure you will.” said Sally.
Attention slowly turned to the one inventor who hadn’t yet demonstrated his device—Peter Riddle. He was already grinning before anyone asked him what his gun could do. “Gather around. Gather Around. It’s not a gun,” he snapped, “not in any conventional sense. Air-delivered munitions are a different sort of animal.” The Great White Hunter lifted the bulky, tube-shaped device onto one shoulder and peered through a targeting reticule. “That’s right folks,” Riddle shouted, his finger tightening on the trigger, “Someday you’ll be able to shoot your meat and cook it… at the same time!” With those fateful words, Peter Riddle was engulfed in a sudden explosion of flame and debris.
Calvin and James staggered backwards wounded by the explosion. After the blast, the Express screeched to a halt. Riddle was toast, bits of his device scattered across the area, and a ragged, six-foot-wide hole is blown through the roof of the passenger car. The Hellstromme Rep took even more notes and clucked disapprovingly. Sally ran to James and Calvin and chanted over them healing their wounds.
Moira, Sally, and Calvin went to the bar and spoke to Milly. Sally cuddled up to Rupert who held her.
“What were you doing at Magnus bar, did you know him?” asked Calvin.
“No. I should have never went there. I just went with everyone else because it was closest to the train station. There seemed to be a fire right after you left the basement. Do you know anything about that?” asked Milly.
“No. Why would I?” Calvin asked nervously.
“that’s odd because I saw you all come out and right after there was smoke.” said Milly Moreau.
“Oh yeah then why were you and Rupert at the bank that night?” asked Calvin.
“I was never at a bank. Was that when the animals went crazy? Rupert beat down the door and ran off.” said Milly.
“You had something to do with this.” said Calvin.
“I must admit that I was working on a device to control animals for the symposium but it was stolen from my hotel room the day before. I can’t be held responsible for that.” said Milly.
The train rolled into Dodge. The posse saw a Sheriff taking people’s weapons, tagging them, and putting them in a wagon. Others were left on horses directed to the stable.
Everette talked to a young black woman who came over.
“i’m Sara. I am Elijah’s daughter.” she said.
“I’m so sorry for your loss.” said Sally.
“I understand you have my father’s personal effects. I want to set up his booth. He would have wanted it that way. I can pay you if you’ll stay on one more day for the symposium.” said Sara.
The posse agreed.
Sally talked to the Sheriff while the rest of the posse mosied passed pretending to go to the stable. they cut out and didn’t check their guns.
Sally saw Rupert and Milly walking away from the train. Rupert hung back.
“Come on Rupert. What are you doing?” asked Milly.
Rupert looked longingly at Sally.
“It’s ok. Go.” and gestured for him to continue.
Rupert looked sad and followed after Dr Moreau.
Otis fixed the broken gatling rifle so you have two worn looking gatling rifles
$4 from Bret Marshal’s pockets
Sally One mummy finger, One Mummy eye
$150 each for three days
$10 each for saving the glassware
Calvin: A set of cards with too many face cards
$10 dollars for James for shooting the most buffalo